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Excession: Culture Series, Book 5 | [Iain M. Banks]

Excession: Culture Series, Book 5

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared.
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Publisher's Summary

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year-old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black-body sphere, and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back.

©1996 Iain M. Banks (P)2013 Hachette Digital

What the Critics Say

"Gripping, touching and funny." (TLS)

"A dizzying adventure." (Daily Mail)

"Explosive but tender." (Sunday Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (336 )
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4.0 (273 )
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Story
4.3 (278 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marc 22/03/2013
    Marc 22/03/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb story, better narration"

    This book is classic sci-fi covering all scales. There are human stories, various races, Culture Ship Minds and even, from certain viewpoints, the microscopic. Although it contains a huge amount of technical information on the Ships (the story being largely concerned with these) it never becomes bogged down in pointless detail and remains constantly fascinating. It treads a fine line between fleshing out the Culture universe as a whole and maintaining a strong element of mystery. It's great to see the all-powerful and infinitely intelligent ship Minds totally stumped and humbled by something they can't even begin to explain.



    Peter Kenny's reading is of such a high standard that this constitutes, to my mind, a definitive edition of the story. This reading manages that rare feat of actually improving on the original work. Here's hoping that Iain M. Banks keeps on writing them and that Peter Kenny keeps on reading them!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. 14/03/2013
    Mr. 14/03/2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Masterpiece!"

    I have waited a long time for 'Excession' to be available on Audible and was frankly worried that it couldn't be converted into an audio book but I needn't have worried! Peter Kenny's narration is superb, his interpretation of the characters is spot on and the book is wonderfully presented! I believe this to be 'Iain M. Banks' finest work and I have read them all, it is a true Sci-fi masterpiece on an epic scale, the characters, both the ships AI's, as well as the people, both Contact and alien, are well rounded and interesting, you want to hear their stories and you are sad when the book comes to it's thrilling climax! Lets hope there is a sequel soon! 5*

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scotty cannock, United Kingdom 07/04/2013
    scotty cannock, United Kingdom 07/04/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "A breathtaking read!"

    Without doubt the I.M.B. book I’ve most eagerly anticipated and I have not been let down.



    The Minds of the Culture come out to play and the depth of the human characters, the colourful tapestry against which the live, is stunning.



    I’m not going to give anything away about the plot but if you like Banks’ Culture stories just download and enjoy my friend!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ashington, United Kingdom 07/04/2013
    Amazon Customer Ashington, United Kingdom 07/04/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "My favourite fiction book of all time"

    And really done justice by the reader who is just BRILLIANT. Characters are well voiced, the story is just awesome, I loved it so much when I read it the first time that I turned straight back to the first page and read it all over again. I'm going to do the same with the audio book.



    I was so sorry to hear that Iain M. Banks had cancer and wish him all the very best

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr BRIDGWATER, United Kingdom 05/11/2013
    Mr BRIDGWATER, United Kingdom 05/11/2013 Member Since 2012

    Marc Fuller

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    "One of my all time favourite banks books"
    Would you listen to Excession again? Why?

    I would listen to this again and again. Its a fantastic story, and performed to perfection. I've read the book several times, and will most definitely listen to this book again and again.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Not only is it a fantastic story in true banks style, but the performance of Peter Kenny is just astounding. Only Peter could take such a challenging book (those that have read the book will understand) and turn it into an fantastic adventure into the culture universe. His range of voices are second to none and his consistency of character personalities and styles boggles the mind. How does he do it! Not only am I a huge fan of Banks, but now a huge fan of Peter Kenny.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is one of the funniest in the culture universe. The ships personalities and egos are simply amazing and make this book easily one of banks greatest.


    Any additional comments?

    Peter Kenny has done this book an immense justice. The paper version of this book can be hard to read with all the ship names and chatter, but Peter Kenny pulls it off and makes this one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. Well done Peter!

    Not bought it yet? Why not!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew kirkcaldy, United Kingdom 14/04/2013
    Andrew kirkcaldy, United Kingdom 14/04/2013 Member Since 2011
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    "YOU WILL BE AMAZED (OR NOT GET IT AT ALL)!"

    Ian M Banks has an imagination almost beyond compare. I had not read any of his 'Culture' novels, so did not know what to expect. I don't think this novel would have worked has an audio book without the sheer brilliance of the narrator Peter Kenny.

    With its mixture of weired aliens and sentient space ships the size of small planets able to travel at thousands of times the speed of light. The human's seeming to be a only a part of the overall scheme of things. The story is a vast intertwining saga of beauty and madness.

    Excession is a story which will appeal to the open minded (or the insane!) Science Fiction fan. For me it was a joy, but be warned, some of you will just not get it!







    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy BRACKNELL, United Kingdom 15/04/2013
    Jeremy BRACKNELL, United Kingdom 15/04/2013
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    "Minds alive"

    There's a lot about the Minds in this Culture classic. And the better for it. As Iain himself said: wouldn't it be nice to have gods like culture minds! Two groups of like minds (ha!) has different ideas on how to manage a particulrly cruel civilization with a incursion from another universe(s) to complicate matters. The usual wheels within wheels stuff with thoughtful genius from Banks throughout

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Paul Maguire Norway 27/03/2013
    Leigh Paul Maguire Norway 27/03/2013 Member Since 2011

    Slippylee

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    "The best yet!!!!"

    This man is a genius. The concepts described are quite amazing, they are intricately described and mind blowing in size. You just want to join the culture and go off exploring. The humour is sharp, especially the machines, both drone and ship, even the baddies are lovable in their own upper-class laddish way. Peter Kenny is on top form, and the way he delivers all the different voices with such distinctiveness gives the story further depth and believability. Cannot wait for the rest of the series, come on audible.....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Oldham, United Kingdom 20/03/2013
    John Oldham, United Kingdom 20/03/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "Best Culture Novel"

    I read the paperback a good few year ago and the audiobook version is great. If you follow the Culture series, then this one is a must with plenty of minds and SC involvement with great creativity!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Woolwich, United Kingdom 23/03/2013
    Mr. Woolwich, United Kingdom 23/03/2013 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rhysophylla"

    Great book, best Culture novel along with Use of Weapons, was looking forward to this audio book and it doesn't disappoint. Peter Kenny is brilliant as usual. Just a quick gripe about the review By Lester from Ilford; should you really be accepting reviews from people who haven't even bothered to finish a book before giving a review?

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 37 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Peter
    Australia
    01/12/13
    Overall
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    "A perfect team(?) at the top of their game"

    Peter Kenny has brought a whole new experience to my understanding the writing of Iain Banks. Mr Kenny seems to have a number of uncanny knacks of what I believe a true storyteller should have, an ancient art form that went out of favour with the invention of the printing press and now, thanks to audio books, is making a comeback.
    A little too dissimilar to how Messrs. Kubrick and Clarke created the universe of 2001 apart but together to be comparable, Mr Kenny was not a co-creator yet he is a collaborator. His obvious skill, talent and intelligence as an actor, most essentially I believe with radio-play experience, has given him a gift permitting him to join Mr Banks in 'The Culture' in a way I think few others could hope to achieve.
    I would encourage any fan of story telling, whether written word or film or stage play or photojournalism etc., who don't mind a bit of the ol' spec-fic to give this a go. While I believe there are other readings by Mr Kenny as powerful as this, none are better and this will forever remain a performance not to be missed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    OxfordUnited Kingdom
    16/05/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mr Banks on top form"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Excession to be better than the print version?

    Mr Kenny is a superb complement to this excellent book. I had to smile as he subtly changes the voice of a character as they moved between sexes. Very slick!


    What other book might you compare Excession to and why?

    Its up there with "Consider Phlebas" in terms of breadth of story, large ideas and character detail. Compulsive reading for Culture addicts.


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    See above, but I also liked the conceit of giving the ship minds british regional ( and occasional colonial :-) ) accents that really rather suited their personalities. Really a very impressive rendition.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Hard to imagine it being a film, but I bet it is "the way many people want the future to be", which is the function of good sci-fi; to inspire.


    Any additional comments?

    Great writer at the top of his game. If we lose him it will be a big loss to our collective imagination, so my best wishes to the man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeff
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    29/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Whip those Alien asses!"
    What did you love best about Excession?

    One of the best books Ive read. It's as good on audio.


    What other book might you compare Excession to and why?

    Most of Iain Banks books but a bit shorter and snappier


    What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

    Good story teller


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    gulp!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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